True to Your Heart

Stressed student holding books, anxious, anticipation of finalsApplying to colleges is already stressful enough, so when you add the stress from family, friends, and teachers you can become very overwhelmed. Everyone has a different opinion on how you should edit your college essay, or on the timing to apply to a certain college, or even what colleges to apply to. As a senior currently applying to colleges, I feel like I go through this struggle every day. I am constantly being asked where I am applying and where I want to go. I am also constantly being given advice on how I can make my application “better.” I feel that the best way to deal with the stress put on me from others in my life is by focusing on how I want my application to look and restricting the number of people who can see my application. Sometimes more is not better.

I recently read a blog on TeenLife that suggested that teens should set up a specific time to talk to their family about the college application process, so that “less time is spent stressing about it and more time is spent working on it.” I remember struggling to convince my parents to pick one day to talk about college applications with me, because, like many parents, they wanted to know my step-by-step progress. However, after explaining to them that too many opinions and questions about my application was a distraction they finally agreed to it.

I have found out that too many opinions can be confusing. Not everyone has to see your application while you’re working on it. You should however  make sure that you take the time to complete everything on your application; this is definitely something you want to be confident about. I had difficulty realizing this in the beginning of my application process. I allowed many people to read my Common Application essay and make edits where they saw fit. After about half a dozen people reviewed it, my essay started sounding completely different than my original piece. Therefore, I decided to completely start from scratch and write a new essay.  At the end of the day, you need to make sure that you are the one who is shining through in your application, because it determines YOUR future.

– Ayatt